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United Auto Workers

Ford’s UAW members vote to ratify a new four-year contract

The United Auto Workers union stated on Friday that rank-and-file members at Ford Motor have voted in support of a new four-year labor contract with Ford.

The UAW will now concentrate on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the only remaining Detroit automaker without a new labor contract. Discussions with FCA are expected to start on Monday, a UAW spokesman stated.

The union stated 56.3% of Ford’s hourly workers voted to authorize the deal, which permitted the company to avoid a strike like the one that cost its larger competitor General Motors about $3 billion (£2.3 billion).

UAW leaders stated previously this month that Ford under the deal agreed to invest over $6 billion in its U.S. plants and to create or retain over 8,500 UAW jobs.

The deal also includes pay raises and lump-sum payments over the life of the contract, a pathway to full-time employment for temporary workers and unchanged healthcare coverage.

Employees at GM approved a deal in late October that put an end to a contentious 40-day U.S. strike, the longest automotive labor stoppage since 1970.

Detailed terms of the Ford deal – issued only a week after GM workers approved their new contract – echoed those agreed to with the automaker, as the union generally uses the first deal as a template for those that follow.

UAW leaders dealt with contract negotiations with Ford and GM, including the lengthy strike, while having a hard time with an ongoing federal corruption investigation.

To date, 10 people have pleaded guilty in relation to the criminal investigation into unlawful payoffs. Just 2 weeks ago a former UAW vice president and former GM board member Joseph Ashton was charged with conspiracy to engage in money laundering and wire fraud.

Previously this month the UAW stated that its president, Gary Jones, who had been connected to the ongoing corruption probe, was taking a leave of absence.

Rory Gamble, the union’s acting head, stated last week he will examine every department of the union in reply to the spreading federal corruption probe to avoid future misuse of members’ dues.

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